Photograph of the Hope Springs entry by Lauri Hafverstein
We have been on an amazing journey together these past four and a half years, while I stewarded Hope Springs in my role as the Executive Director. And as all things must do, this particular part of my journey is coming to an end. At the end of March, I will step down as Executive Director and begin the next part of my journey as Professional Development Specialist at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This is an opportunity to work in higher education, something that has always been a professional dream of mine. With deep sadness in my heart for leaving the land, the people, and the spirit of Hope Springs, there is also excitement at what lies ahead for myself as I transition to a new job and for Hope Springs as she will enter a new phase of growth.
I reflect back on all that has happened, that we have accomplished, and I amaze myself at this lovely, surprising, at times painful, adventure that I have been on, and I know that I wouldn’t change it for the world. I remember the first time I drove up to Hope Springs in 2006 to participate in the first Hope Springs’ Women’s Leadership Collaborative. I remember driving along Mineral Springs, cresting the hill by the farm in front of Peach Mountain, looking down, and seeing the beauty of the trees. To this day, that is my favorite part of the trip, particularly in autumn when the trees are showing off their beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows. The drive continues as the car enters the cathedral of trees, where the branches reach out overhead trying to hold hands above me, and finally climbs that impossibly steep climb where I am just certain that I am entering another dimension – as indeed I have, because I come home to Hope Springs.
It is hard to leave a home and the people and places that I love, although I will carry it in my heart with me always, even as my path leads me elsewhere. As I get ready to go, I am leaving something precious behind: the care and development of Hope Springs and all that she represents. And I know that the Hope Springs Board and the Hope Springs Community will take tender-loving care of her and find the next right steward for this place from which springs hope for inner and global peace.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. To show support for the next Executive Director, would you be willing to make a monthly contribution to Hope Springs? $10, $25, $50, $100 a month would show your support for Hope Springs and for the new Executive Director.